0622 Potato Salad

Potato Salad with Horseradish & Bresaola
photo by sassyradish

The culinary theme of our Rockford reception, held this past weekend, was BBQ.  My family ordered the pulled pork and brisket, made (or modified) the salads, and got the bread and baked goods from various favorite spots around town.  Everything was delicious – and as always, we had plentiful leftovers, some of which made the trip back to Michigan with us carefully packed in ice.  We’ve been revisiting those leftovers for lunch and snacks the last two days, and let me tell you, that’s a damned fine way to eat.

Which brings me around to the subject of today’s post: potato salad.  Any cookout salad, really, but potato salad in particular.

Potato Salad
photo by FotoosVanRobin

I would imagine that there are approximately as many varieties of potato salad as there are types of potatoes (Wikipedia tells me 4,000+!).  You can do your potatoes up with vinegar, bacon, mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, onions, horseradish, celery, and every kind of herb and spice you can imagine in any possible combination.  Some people cube their taters, while others like them sliced thin, while still others smash ’em up so that the salad falls somewhere closer to mashed potatoes.

Tolan's mom's potato salad
photo by Panem et Circenses

While each of these varieties has its place, my family’s potato salads tend to fall in the mayo-and-mustard camp.  Not too much mayo, though, or you lose the essence of the potato itself. Most store-bought potato salads go overboard on the mayo front – in fact, when Mom ordered the potato salad, she asked for lighter mayo, and was told they couldn’t do it? That’s OK, she said, we’ll just doctor it up at home.  And she did.  And when I ate the last of the potato salad today for lunch, I was truly sad.

Classic Potato Salad
Recipe from my grandma, Kay Fesenmeyer

Combine the following in a large bowl:
4 cups cooked and cubed red potatoes
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, combine the following, then stir into the potato mixture:
1 cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s, and don’t even THINK about using Miracle Whip)
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
1 teaspoon mustard (more to taste)
1/2 cup dill relish (sweet relish is an abomination) or chopped up dill pickles

You can serve this up while the potatoes are still warm, or let it chill out in the fridge for awhile.  Either way it’ll be delicious.

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